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TECH TIP: Bad vibrations and motors

Watch for electrical component damage.


High vibration can affect windings and insulation.
PHOTO: FOTOLIA

High vibration affects more than mechanical components of an electric motor or generator. It also has an impact on electrical components, such as windings and cables.

The impact becomes more serious as the insulation system ages or is exposed to temperature extremes from overheating or extreme cold. Connections to the inside of the box or passing through a conduit abrade against stationary components, causing them to wear. Embrittled windings experience fractures in the insulation system, and the conductors move against contaminants and other conductors, leading to winding shorts. In effect, resistance to failure decreases with high vibration from unbalance, misalignment, the surrounding structure and other equipment.

To guard against the effects of high vibration, ensure alignments are performed properly and equipment is balanced. Promptly investigate the cause of abnormal vibration.

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